ColorPlay: deYoung Flowers

ColorPlay: deYoung Flowers- default
ColorPlay: deYoung Flowers- default

This week’s photo was a bad choice. It is a gorgeous group of flowers and I really like the image, but there isn’t enough diversity in the colors to make interesting palettes.

As a result, after the default palette, I stuck to monochromatic palettes.

Green: the green looks really brown – or yellowish brown- in the palette.

Orange: I thought the orange would be great, but, again, the colors look very brown. This groups would make a great Thanksgiving quilt.

Pink: these colors aren’t bad. They do have a pink tinge to them, but I wouldn’t call them pink.

The tool was acting strange as well. The colors with names were not displaying on the side. It might be time to think up a new creativity/inspiration project.

Let me know if you use a palette to make something.

Big Stitch Update

BAMaQG IRR May 2018
BAMaQG IRR May 2018

I made some progress on the BAMaQG IRR at Craft Night the other night. The image shows the whole piece. Obviously, you can’t see the hand stitching, but you can get an overall view of the piece.

I am not using a pattern or marking much when I Big Stitch. I am following the stitching lines and eyeballing where my stitches go. They are mostly straight lines, a quarter inch from seams.

I plan to use different threads, especially the Sue Spargo threads I have been buying, but at the moment I am using an Aurifil embroidery thread.

BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail
BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail

The Flying Geese made some arrow type designs.

You can see, especially if you click on the image to make it larger, that I am doing multiple rows of outline stitching. I don’t want the piece to be stiff, so I probably won’t fill in the whole arrow, but I might do a few more lines. I’ll have to see.

BAMaQG IRR May 2018 back detail
BAMaQG IRR May 2018 back detail

I am pretty pleased with the way the back looks as well. Unlike 10 stitches to the inch hand quilting, the stitches on the back of a Big Stitched quilt are supposed to be smaller, according to Sarah Fielke. Mine are smaller and even, which is what I have been working to improve.

BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail
BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail

If I were to put stitches in all the solid areas so there was no open space, the look would be somewhat like one section I already did. The section between the green dots and blue flowers has about 4 lines of stitching that covers the whole area.

CG Sewing Table Mat

As mentioned back in April, I am a member of the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. I made a couple of the projects, but haven’t been able to keep up the pace since the beginning of April. After getting the Octagon Nine Patch ready for the quilter, I decided to work on a club project.

Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat
Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat

For reasons you will find out later, this project not going to be part of the set. I chose the ice cream cone fabric, because it is super fun.

As you can see, I am part way through the project. I cut the mat slightly larger than the pattern called for to accommodate larger machines.I have bound the vinyl pocket and basted it to the main fabric, but have gotten no further.

Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat detail (in process)
Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat detail (in process)

Crafty Gemini projects are known for zippers and vinyl. This project only has vinyl and I have an idea in my mind to make several of them for gifts. I saw another similar project in Issue 35 of Love of Patchwork & Quilting magazine. It looks very similar with a few differences. I am thinking of making that one to compare the two projects. Stay tuned to see if I do it. I have a lot of plans for gifts.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture

Wind Sculpture, San Francisco
Wind Sculpture, San Francisco

I saw this wind sculpture when I went to get my hair cut on Saturday. I have walked by it numerous times and finally stopped to take a photo.

ColorPlay Wind Sculpture-default
ColorPlay Wind Sculpture-default

The default was great! NO neutrals this time. I found it to be a very appealing palette, if a little too monochromatic.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.1
ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.1

I took the opportunity of a great default to try a monochromatic palette. I tried to go for sea tones and I think I got a blustery day sort of look.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.2
ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.2

With the second palette, I tried to pull out the colors in the image. There are quite a few colors and I wanted a variety. The only one I don’t like is the Kona Parsley. It doesn’t look like parsley at all to me. It looks like one of those life-sucking beige relatives.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.3
ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.3

In the third palette, I went back to blues, but expanded to darks. I like the colors together. In a quilt, however, I don’t think there would be enough contrast.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.4
ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.4

I really got a lot of mileage out of the default blue-centric palette. I continued with the monochromatic theme in the fourth palette, but went with brighter and happier blues. There are some darks and it was hard to find places in the images where the tool registered the location as a different color/fabric.

ColorPlay Wind Sculpture-n.5
ColorPlay Wind Sculpture-n.5

With n.5 I tried to find every spec of warm colors in the whole image. The pickle is the only cool color, but it has a tinge of warmth to it, I think.

ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.6
ColorPlay: Wind Sculpture n.6

With the last palette, I decided to stick with blue, but go light, even venturing into grey. The Avocado was kind of a desperation choice, but the others stuck with my idea.

What will you make?

Creative Spark #23: Repetition

“There is only one way to achieve the fluency, freedom and grace of the expert, and that is by doing” (The Little Spark, pg.97). I believe this quote. I live this quote. I sew a lot. I make a respectable number of quilts and chop up and sew back together a lot of fabric.

I get the impression that people think you can make one quilt and be an expert. I have made a lot of quilts and I still don’t consider myself an expert. “We get better at anything we try to do by doing it over and over (and over and over)” (pg.97).

I do think, as we progress towards becoming an expert, we gain “fluency and fluidity with the materials and…movements.” We “understand…the rhythm and harmony of the” materials, the tools and our “body.” We can feel our way through the” work ” instead of thinking…through” [it]. We become less attached to our work as we get better and we get better at telling the materials exactly what we want them to do using great economy of movement. As we get better, we are fully in control of our work and yet we choose to surrender that control to the materials. (pg.97)

“You don’t learn by thinking about doing. You might enjoy thinking and planning, but the learning comes from doing” (pg.97). Each time we make a quilt or, even, a block “a new awareness…is born. The reality is that you have to show up and do the work.

Carrie recommends that when you start to, she calls it, “throw a hundred bowls” (pg.97) that you not do it alone. In quiltmaking, guilds are great for that, but so are friends, classes and, in a pinch, the Internet. YouTube is a wonderful thing. The point is that if you get stuck and you don’t have a friend or support system, you will have an easier time stopping that if you have someone to lean on.

The text is followed by a quiz (pg.98-99), which helps determine your learning style.

Now, go make your hundred quilts or hundred blocks and improve your skills. Become an expert.

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is fueling this flight of fancy.

ColorPlay: Israeli Art

Flying Sun by Joel Amit
Flying Sun by Joel Amit

I was walking through the streets of downtown San Francisco to the train Saturday night after a lovely dinner with friends. I saw this great piece of art by Joel Amit of Jerusalem in one of the gallery windows. The piece is called Flying Sun. I really like it and thought it would be great for ColorPlay.

ColorPlay: Apr27-default
ColorPlay: Apr27-default

Starting off with the default always makes me wonder. This time I checked out some of the pieces on the Play-Crafts Instagram feed and I don’t see that her quilt pieces focus particularly on neutrals. With all the color in this piece, the tool still defaults to neutrals. There are so many colors that can come in the Palette Builder tool! I don’t even have to move the circles very much- a couple of millimeters at the most to make a new palette with completely new colors. Again, this makes me wonder why so many neutrals in the default palette. Do I sound obsessed? Perhaps I am?

The greys are nice, but it is still mostly neutral.

ColorPlay:Apr,27 n.1
ColorPlay:Apr,27 n.1

I finally started moving the circles around and thought, when my first palette was finished “okay, I am done”. My first palette is extremely bright and cheerful and reflects some of the colors Mr. Amit has used. I like the Kona Lipstick and the Kona Cardinal, overall, but there is a bit of a circus feel with this palette, so I tried again into order to get something a little more subtle or, perhaps sophisticated.

ColorPlay: Apr. 27 n.2
ColorPlay: Apr. 27 n.2

My second palette uses more subtle colors. I don’t think the Kona Grellow works. It looks a little too mustardy to me. It isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t fit with the rest of the palette. I like the green – Kona Leaf, but not with the  Tomato and Watermelon.

ColorPlay: April 27 n.3
ColorPlay: April 27 n.3

Palette n.3 was another adventure. I added some turquoise, which is great and added Orangeade – there aren’t enough circles to have a ROYGBIV rainbow palette, but we do what we can. I wanted to keep the Watermelon, but moved the wrong circle and ended up with Chinese Red. Somehow I didn’t get rid of the Leaf or Grellow.

ColorPlay:April 27 n.4
ColorPlay:April 27 n.4

Palette n.4 is much better. I kept the colors I liked – Cyan and Orangeade – and tweaked the rest. Except for the yellow, I just made little tweaks. The Geranium is a nice addition. The Honeysuckle and Cyan go really well together. The Clover isn’t terrible, but I don’t like it next to the Canary.

ColorPlay: April 27 n.5
ColorPlay: April 27 n.5

Since I was getting close to a palette I really liked, I only changed the green. Again the Grasshopper is better, but still doesn’t work very well with the yellow. Also, with the Grasshopper, somehow the Orangeade doesn’t look as bright, but it does look ok next to the Honeysuckle.

This is a great photo for this exercise and I could go on forever, but I am not going to since you can go to Play-Crafts.com and make your own palettes.

ColorPlay: April 27 n.6
ColorPlay: April 27 n.6

TA-DA! I took out the green. It wasn’t working, so I added some Shitake. It is a nice light-ish grey and would make a good background.

What will you make?

 

 

Creative Spark #22: Find Your Voice

This has been a difficult week, so I decided to sit down and work on a creative spark post. These posts take a while, but I usually end up happy after I am done. Or, at least, distracted.

Carrie Bloomston shares an Alan Alda quote with us that exactly explains the subject of this spark. She quotes “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. what you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself” (pg.93).

We often put on a mask to go to work, do not wear red tights with our all black outfit or simply don’t talk about our true feelings about creativity. Engaging in creativity is different. “No matter what you do in your creative life, you will bring all of you to it” (pg.93). I also would add that artists do their best work when they do what they want to do, not what they think someone else wants them to do and certainly not what the artists think they should do.

This spark is about finding your creative voice. Bloomston explains that “your voice is a combination of style, experience, work, and subject matter” (pg.93).  She shows readers three ways to find your creative subject, “Internal, External and Catharsis” (pg.94).

For internal, we have to dig through our unconscious self for content to figure out what we want to say. For external, you have to do research and then there is catharsis, which is healing through art. I find that I use two of the three less than External. I look at things (have you seen this blog?) and get inspiration from them. Sometimes it is colors, sometimes shapes, sometimes what others are doing, sometimes from books. I know I bring my own twist to these sources. I know that sometimes I veer so far away from the original source that the art has little to no relation to the original source.

In terms of internal and catharsis, inspiration is more complicated. I write a lot about my feelings and I think that form of creativity takes care of internal imagery for me. With my quiltmaking, I am more interested in color, shape and line. I don’t always have those images in my head. With catharsis, again, I write, though I have made some art to try and get painful experiences out and work through them. Quiltmaking doesn’t always provide an adequate venue for working through problems. Again, I write.

The worksheet is very good in this chapter and I am actually feeling good about working on it.

What do you think about finding your voice?

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

Ends Quilt n.2 Finished!

Ends n.2 donation quilt
Ends n.2 donation quilt

Back in November, I made a donation quilt from the trimmings from the back of the Carpenter’s Wheel quilt. At the meeting on Saturday, Tim brought the finished quilt. He quilted it and it looks GREAT!

I really like it that he is bold enough to use dark thread. His motifs are large-ish and very loose, which makes the quilts nice and drapey.

Ends n.2 donation quilt detail
Ends n.2 donation quilt detail

He also is doing a nice job with the pebbling.

Ends n.2 donation quilt back
Ends n.2 donation quilt back

The back looks a lot better quilted!

I am so pleased to be able to collaborate with Tim. He seems pleased about it as well. I do hope he will tell me if he doesn’t want to quilt some of my donation quilts.

Since I put this in last year’s list of donation quilts, I will not include it in this year’s list.

En Provence Quilt Finished

En Provence Finished
En Provence Finished

Yes, amazingly enough, I finally finished En Provence a week or so ago. I am so pleased with the finished product. I am sad that I will give it away, but it will go to a good home who will love it very well.

One thing I like about this pattern is that the edges are finished. By that I mean my hard sewn units are not cut off as you see in many quilts with weird edges. I like it that my stars have all of their points.

Also, I want to make another one. 😉 I am not sure when, but I do plan to make another one. If I select a color scheme I can start any time and use leaders and enders to get all of the units made. I haven’t done any sewing yet, as I haven’t selected a color scheme. I really like this color scheme, but want to do something different. How would it be if I reversed the darks and lights?

En Provence back
En Provence back

The back turned out to be very funny. Birds and lobsters? What was I thinking? It is definitely a good conversation starter, that is for sure.

I started this on January 10, 2017. You can see all the posts by clicking on the tag. 14ish months isn’t bad, especially when I know I took a long hiatus somewhere in the middle. Also, made most of this quilt using the leaders and enders technique.

ColorPlay: Ruth’s Flower

Ruth's Flower
Ruth’s Flower

DH and I went over to my MIL’s house last night to get the mail and take out the garbage. On my way up the stairs, I saw that one of her flowers had bloomed. Better late than never, I suppose. It was still perfect.

I thought I would use it as my ColorPlay image of the week. Even though I already did a sort of tribute to her, this one seems appropriate as well.

ColorPlay April 13: default
ColorPlay April 13: default

The default palette was actually pretty good this time. I guess the tool couldn’t ignore all of that red-orange.

ColorPlay April 13 n.1
ColorPlay April 13 n.1

My first original palette was all about the various reds, pinks and red-oranges. I couldn’t resist trying to find as many as possible in that photo.

ColorPlay April 13 n.2
ColorPlay April 13 n.2

Can I vary the colors? Yes! Can I create a balanced palette that would make a good set of colors for a quilt? Apparently, only if that quilt palette is monochromatic. This time I went with green. I like green in plants, but not so much in fabric. This palette is not a favorite.

ColorPlay April 13 n.3
ColorPlay April 13 n.3

I decided to create a balanced palette move one circle to each main section of the image. I did come up with a lot of different colors, but am not sure if the palette would make a good group of colors for a quilt. I think not.

ColorPlay April 13 n.4
ColorPlay April 13 n.4

I made a last effort and actually looked for opportunities to add in some neutrals. This one has both Kona Cinnamon and Kona Crimson. They look the same to me and the latter looks nothing like Crimson.

What will you make?

Ruth’s Hand Quilt

Ruth's Hand Quilt
Ruth’s Hand Quilt

My mother-in-law died on Sunday. It wasn’t unexpected, but it is nonetheless very, very sad. I feel a huge loss.

I am writing about the Hand Quilt, because I never made another quilt for my mother-in-law. I meant to; I just never did.

The hand quilt is a quilt that my sister-in-law and I made for my parents-in-law (SIL made for her parents) in 1992. We got hand tracings from all of the siblings, spouses and kids. We transferred the handprints to fabric and then machine appliqued the hands to the background. I don’t remember how it got quilted, but it did.

I always wanted to make another one to make sure we got all of the kids, but I never did. I suppose I still could, but I would have to make one for each family and I just don’t think I have that much machine applique’ in me. You never know, though. 😉

Finished: HRT Donation Top & Back

HRT Donation Top - April 2018
HRT Donation Top – April 2018

I finally got into a  rhythm with the Bias rectangles (HRTs- half rectangle triangles) and was really able to make a lot of them, get them trimmed and put blocks together. The sticking point is always hauling fabric out of the fabric closet. If I didn’t want to make these pieces scrappy, it wouldn’t be a problem, but I do like the scrappy look.

My original idea was to make a large quilt with 16 blocks. When I realized that each block was 52 pieces, I decided that I would start with a 4 block quilt and go from there. It isn’t difficult to make the HRTs once I got the hang of it and the blocks really don’t feel like they have 52 pieces. Still, I wanted to finish and the top I made finishes at 39″ x 39″. That is big enough for the NICU. I still have the other 16 patches and will continue to make bias rectangles until I have made 4 quilts like this one. I should be an expert by then!

HRT donation quilt back
HRT donation quilt back

The back was also scrappy, of course. I used up some fabric that has been hanging around.

A Few More Donation Blocks

Again, I have been able to make a few of the 16 patch donation blocks for BAM. The HRT donation quilt has taken up a lot of my donation making time, but not all. I want to help the Charity Girls keep their supply of 16 patches fresh.

I am running out of foreground squares so I will have to get DH to haul out the Accuquilt for me and cut up some scraps before I can make many more. I have the additional HRTs to make, so I am not completely out of the game.

Zip Away Organizer

Zip Away Organizer - closed
Zip Away Organizer – closed

Frankly, I never thought I could make something like this. This is another pattern from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. It is one of the bonus patterns. I think it would make a great gift.

I did, though, and while I struggled with some parts, it wasn’t as hard as I thought.

I feel like I am becoming a zipper expert. I can certainly get my zipper foot on and off the machine (screwdriver is involved) with lightening speed. I can now shorten zippers with confidence (remember my fit about the zipper shortening with the Sweet Harmony bag?). I have put in 16 zippers, I think, in the last month. WHEW!

Zip Away Organizer - open
Zip Away Organizer – open

I am trying to think what I can put in this bag.

I reversed the pockets by accident, so the vinyl pocket is on the wrong side. It isn’t so wrong that I felt I had to rip it out, but I will get a zipper pull to help pull the zipper away from the spine.

The fabric for the outside and the inside slip pocket are both from the Cosmo Cricket line. I made the first Stepping Stone quilt out of that fabric. I am out of the typewriter key fabric in black, which is a shame, but I will use another black that works. I used the stripe on the inside, because it works so well in my handbag (purchased, by Pixie Mood). I’ll use it again in other projects in this club.